TIPS FOR WRITERS | WORKSHOPS
My writing journey is a very common tale. I fell in love with stories with fairy tale books and Disney movies. I fell in love with books when I could read fast enough to not need my parents’ help. I fell in love with writing when I won an award in 4th grade for an essay contest. Then I started writing. All. The. Time. Short stories mainly. Horror, believe it or not. Somehow romance–which I read voraciously starting about age twelve–managed to creep into them all.
I quit writing for a bit in high school when teasing and peer ridicule stopped me. But I didn’t stop reading. In my twenties, I started probably 20-30 romance novels and never finished one. Something about the middle of the book always arrested my momentum. But then I had a baby when I was 30, and while on maternity leave, I wrote and finished my first book.
It was a learning experience.
It went “under the bed” for a few years until 2012. I had two babies at that point under the age of four. I was working for Intel full time, regularly putting in as many as sixty hours. I was also in the middle of getting my MBA. And I decided that would be a good time to find a good editor (I did!). I learned a ton, made that first book significantly better (also learned to LOVE the editing process), then self-published that final, finished book.
10+ years since finishing that first book, I am blessed to have both a supportive family and the ability to stay at home and do this full time. I have worked my tail off to become a better writer–something I never stop trying to do. Somewhere along the way I have been lucky (and again lots of hard work) to find an agent I adore and work with editors and publishers and other amazing writers who help make my books the best versions of themselves.
I’ve always loved sweet contemporary romance, devouring books by Betty Neels in particular, but a ton of other fantastic writers in this space as well. Then my agent introduced me to Amish romance and I fell in love with those heartwarming HEAs. I think I read over 100 in a single year just pouring through them. Maybe my heart needed it. In a world that is so filled with harshness and hatred, being able to escape into these books reminds me that there are also people who can face the realities of the world with kindness, gentleness, and faith.
I am now a multi-award-winning hybrid author who has written 35+ novels/novellas/short stories under three pen names with more to come. Many more if my luck and the hard work hold out. I am also the owner/operator of Authors On A Dime, a company which provides services to help other writers. I love every part of the publishing journey and consider myself extremely lucky to be living out my dream every day.